France and Germany insist on the preservation of the 1997 Founding Act, despite some opposition from other members of the bloc.
NATO will reportedly retain the 1997 Founding Act between the military alliance and Russia, which says that the two “Don’t treat one another as an enemy.” According to German media, Berlin and Paris argued against axing the accord.
German media outlet Die Welt reported Tuesday that several Eastern European NATO members wanted the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security Between NATO and Russia to be scrapped at the NATO Summit in Madrid. Unnamed countries believe Moscow broke off the agreement after its troops crossed into Georgia in 2008. Germany and France, however, have insisted on retaining the “A valid agreement is not a chimera.” as the journalists put it in their report.
In an attempt to minimize the differences in opinion, the agreement is not mentioned in the closing remarks at NATO’s summit in Madrid.
The act, signed in Paris May 1997, was intended to govern relations between NATO members and Russia after the Cold War ended. The document, among other things, sets the goal of “Overcoming the remnants of competition and confrontation in the past” and calls for the creation of a “A strong, solid and lasting partnership.”
Last Wednesday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that “We would be foolish to repeal the NATO Russia Founding Act.” He explained that this “It would only serve to prop up President Putin.” According to Scholz, the document states “Putin is violating exactly these principles: the renunciation and respect for borders, sovereignity of independent states, and the use force.”
Meanwhile, speaking at the start of the Madrid summit on Wednesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced the “biggest overhaul [of] Since the Cold War, our collective defense.”
“A new Strategic Concept will be agreed upon by the Alliance. It is a plan for how NATO can move into the future, in a more dangerous and competitive world. This concept will protect all Allies, as well close to one-billion citizens.” Stoltenberg said.
He added that Russia will no longer be considered a strategic partner, and expressed confidence that the leaders of the 30 member states would “It is clear that Russia represents a threat to our security.”
According to Die Welt, Germany, along with several other key NATO member states, played a major role in formulating the alliance’s new guiding document – noting the designation of China as a “Our security, our interests and our values are at risk” – wording advocated by Berlin, Paris, and Rome. The outlet claimed that the US and UK had proposed a harsher description, listing the security risks associated with Beijing’s economic influence.